One of the best ways to make ‘pseudo-passive money online is to start an eCommerce store. We say ‘pseudo-passive’ because no matter how well set up your eCommerce store may be, you’ll still need to carry out some maintenance work on it every now and again. That is just an example of the things you should know before opening an eCommerce business.
Of course, nothing is ever really as simple as they make it out to be. Yes, there are a few privately owned eCommerce stores that are making a financial killing every single day. We are talking of thousands of dollars in sales every day accumulating to hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly with very little maintenance.
Then there is the reality of the business. And that reality is that this is the exception as opposed to the norm. It is far much easier to find eCommerce stores that are struggling and only wasting resources as opposed to making the owner money. But that is not to say that for every store that fails, there isn’t one that is bringing in at least $1,000 every month.
The truth, eCommerce is a trillion dollar a year business. This is where the world is headed, and it is conceivable that a huge chunk of the population will begin to buy online exclusively. So, the money is there. The trick is how to channel it towards your eCommerce store. That is why you need to take the time to learn the things you should know before opening an eCommerce store.
Narrow down your niche
It is natural to think that having a broad target-niche gives you a much bigger playing field. After all, if you are selling everything to do with Smartphones, then you could sell phones, batteries, cases, screen protectors, chargers, and earphones and so on. The problem with this approach is that there are thousands of people who are thinking in the same way and there are even more who have already captured that market.
This broad kind of thinking will open you up to extreme competition and a whole host of ways to which your eCommerce store can fail. The trick is to narrow down your niche. You could even decide only to focus on items that are months away from release. Say for example if you wanted to narrow down your niche in the Smartphones market, you could concentrate on creating an eCommerce site that deals only with iPhone 7 accessories way before the iPhone 7 was released. This way, by the time the iPhone 7 was released, you would have already had a solid audience looking to you for all their upgrades.
Test the market first
Before you get all excited about the millions of dollars that you are going to make, you should first check the market to see if your idea sells. Sometimes, the only person excited about what you have to sell is you. Try and see if there is an existing market for what you have to offer.
One of the best ways to do this is to spend a little time sending out feelers. Start a blog, run it for a few weeks or even months, populate it with great and informative content about the product/service and add a few affiliate links to those articles. If at some point you start seeing traffic and sales coming in, then know that there’s a market for what you are selling. Find out where these sales are coming from and try to see how big the demand is in reality. Do this before you invest too much money into the project.
Align your supply chain properly
This is something that always seems to surprise new eCommerce store owners. After putting in all the work to get your first sale, once you do, how does the customer receive their purchase? How long will it take to ship? Are they willing to wait that long? Is shipping going to be free? Who will handle packaging? And are the products of high enough quality?
These are all things that you need to take care of before you make your first sale. Try as much as you can to automate this process. The only to make sure that the supply chain is handled is to order something from your store. Learn first-hand what the customer is going to experience and see if it is acceptable.
Content marketing matters
You’ll probably learn this the hard way. The only way to get people to your platform is to carry out extensive content marketing. This means articles, videos, infographics and social media engagement. There are companies you can hire for this or you could choose to do it yourself. Be warned, however, this is serious work that requires dedication. From SEO to high-quality platform design, this is all part of content marketing. Without it, you are dead and in the water.
You will need the right vendors
This ties in with the supply-chain point. You need to find the right vendors if you are to deliver on what you promise. You also need to find the right vendors who offer the best quality at an affordable price. Vendors who are reliable and look towards helping your business grow.
There are many more things you should know before opening an eCommerce business. The points mentioned above are pertinent and can be considered to be the most urgent. You also need to learn continually as they days go by. That is how you can scale your eCommerce business up.